5 Aggressive dog behavior training tips

5 aggressive dog behavior training tips to help keep you and your dog safe.

You have come to the right place to read about aggressive dog behavior training tips!  This is a face that no dog owner wants to see on their dog or any other dog! The fear that goes through every person when they see an aggressive dog is palpable. I know the panic that courses through a dog owner’s veins!

I have lived it! I have had a dog every moment of my 57 years of life and have had a couple of different dogs with varying forms of aggression. Two dogs that I will talk about in this post are very different breeds. One was a small, but mighty Lhasa Apso, Goldie Lucks, who bit people and the other is my rescue dog cinnamon, who lunches, and bites. Cinnamon is still with me and we work on her behavior every day.

Why is my dog aggressive?

While stopping dog aggression is not an easy task, it is generally an achievable one with perseverance, patience, and a bit of psychology. When people realize that their dog is aggressive, they often immediately want to know why. Most of the time, when you see an aggressive dog it wasn’t born that way. The short answer is that aggressive behavior is a normal but uncommon behavior in many animals.

Aggression in dogs can quickly become a serious problem, especially if it’s over-the-top. Owners of dogs just may not fully understand how to train their dog. This lack of training often leads to aggressive behavior in dogs because they are responding to situations using their instincts, and not proper training since they have never been taught differently.

This training or living every day, as I think of it, is ongoing. While a dog may not be born aggressive, many rescue dogs have been traumatized from birth and will take constant love and structure for the rest of their lives. There are certainly situations that make Cinnamon’s behavior worse or agitated and those things are what I will highlight.

Dogs become aggressive in a situation for a number of reasons.

Normally, their aggression is born of fear or possessiveness. Most aggression in dogs cases are fear-based or insecurity-based – not based on dominance. Most dogs act aggressively because they want their triggers to go away, not because they’re trying to take over the household.

Fear-based aggression is common in under socialized dogs. This is also common in dogs that have learned that trying to avoid something doesn’t help, such as dogs that can’t escape a bothersome child in the home or a trigger while they’re on a leash. Cinnamon’s is born of fear. An owner who fails to see the signs of aggression as they develop will soon find themselves with a dog that is completely out of control. This is the owner’s responsibility, and does not mean that the dog is a “bad dog.”

It just means it is time for some assertive dog training tips to help you make your dog be a calm, happy member of the family. Aggressive behavior is far less common in confident dogs. Since most aggressive dogs are actually scared, it’s not a good idea to try to “correct” aggression out of them. These dogs have learned that “the best defense is a good offense,” and an aggressive punishment will only teach them that their owner is scary, too.

What does Aggressive Behavior look like?

We all know what it looks like once our dogs have lost control and are in the act of being aggressive, but it’s our jobs as dog parents to know what it looks like before our dogs lose it.

Here are some tips for looking for aggressive behaviors in your dog and how to end them.

Body Language

Here is aggressive dog behavior training tip number 1!!  Look for the signs. Dogs tend to use body language to intimidate; therefore your dog may try to situate himself so that he is taller than other animals and he may become tense. His hackles may rise. Cinnamon is a ridge back and from her neck down to her tail, her whole back of fur raises up to look like a ridge when she’s agitated.

  • Your dog may lock his gaze and display more control over the mouth muscles.
  • Other forms are a tightly closed mouth, or lips stretched over the teeth.
  • Your dog might shift his weight forward,
  • Prick his ears
  • Slow his breathing
  • Many dogs will also display dilated pupils (big pupils),
  • Wag their tail in a high, stiff fashion.

Alpha Dog

Dogs are pack animals. In a pack, there is always a leader or “alpha dog.” If no leader is established then the dog will establish itself as the alpha and will be guided by instincts and how much control he has over people, other dogs, and situations. Even though dogs are pack animals, some dogs are naturally born shy or they have been abused and their aggression is the result of their fear. This is Cinnamon. Just remember, small dogs can be vicious also and their bite, while small can cause much damage. My dog, Goldie Lucks, was small but would bite and this was just as terrifying.

We’ll have much better luck with calming aggressive dogs if we help teach them that the world is predictable and safe and that they can get what they want by behaving well, rather than acting aggressively. Set realistic expectations whenever working with training an aggressive dog. In your home, you need to be the one to establish yourself as the alpha dog. To set the structure and rules consistently. You establish physical boundaries as well as behavioral boundaries. To do this, you must first teach the dog that you are the one in control.

Assertive training is Not a Form of Punishment

Many dog owners punish aggressive dogs with aggressive behavior themselves. Rather than the dog learning to behave from this form of punishment, they learn that aggression is an accepted response. Remember that some aggression is born of fear. When you beat your dog, you might establish some fear and that may cause the dog to stop doing whatever it was punished for, but you also build a foundation for aggression to be acceptable. Sooner or later that fear you created may come out in aggressive behavior that is beyond your control. Instead, use specific methods to teach your dog what is acceptable and what is not.

Rather than using punishment to establish control, you can limit the dog’s abilities and following the pack order. Keep in mind that the alpha dog gets the best of everything, and first choice to decide what the best of everything is. The alpha dog is followed, not led. When you rely on punishment only, you are responding (following), rather than leading.

Leash Training

Keep reading for more aggressive dog behavior training tips! In order to establish yourself as the alpha dog in your home, you may have to use a leash inside your home. This is so that you can control where the dog is able to go. For instance, if you do not want your dog on the furniture, simply step on the leash when he goes to get on the couch. If you do let your dog on the couch, don’t let your him take your favorite spot on the couch. Make him move over. You are the alpha. Harnesses work well for this type of training because they do not choke the dog when he is being guided, but they do limit what he can do.

Sleeping

If your dog is the alpha dog, he sleeps in the best possible place. In most homes, this means he would sleep on the bed. This is fine once the dog understands he is not the alpha dog and that, you, the alpha dog is allowing him to sleep in the bed, but you have to establish the pack relationship first. Your dog has to start at the back of the pack and work his way up. This might mean your dog has to sleep in a crate until he understands the chain of command. This also means that if you allow your dog to sleep in your bed, he is not allowed to take your pillow or all the blankets! If you go to move him over and he lets out a low growl. That’s it…off the bed he goes. You are the alpha.

Meals

The alpha dog has first choice when it comes to meal times. Since you are starting your dog at the back of the pack, he will be the last one fed. This is done by simple routines of feeding your dog at certain times of the day. You are alpha because you are bringing the food. You may even find that you should crate him during meal times. He can progress to eating at the same time as you once boundaries have been established. No begging allowed.

Playtime and mental stimulation

Playtime is one of the best times to focus on training your dog. Toys should be kept up so that when your dog gets a toy, you are the one to give it to him. When playtime is over, the toy is put up. If your dog takes off with a toy and you chase him, you are letting him know that he is the one in charge, not you. Instead of chasing the dog, wait for him to bring the toy back, then put it away and never give it to him again. (Please note, this does not mean not to give him a toy at all. It just means to get rid of that particular toy.)

Mental stimulation is a very huge step in helping to control aggressive behavior. It helps to keep your dog busy and it tires him out. A bored dog will get into trouble. Many dogs spend a lot of their day being bored while their humans are gone at work. Luckily, there are lots of cheap, fast, and easy ways to exercise your dog’s mind.

If your dog isn’t really safe or easy to walk outside, consider the many dog puzzles that are out on the market. Brain Training 4 dogs has many free game ideas that you can play with your dog. Check out the videos here.

Collars and Muzzles

Collars and muzzles can be very helpful when it comes to training your dog. They may seem like harsh forms of punishment at first, but they work better than regular collars because of the way they are made. Truly, it broke my heart when I had to put one on Cinnamon. But Cinnamon does not like small children. I will never know why. So, when my family and friends with small children come to visit, she has to wear a muzzle. It makes all of the family members relax, which creates a relaxing atmosphere in the house. If you get a muzzle that fits correctly, like I did for Cinnamon, they can still eat and drink, they just can’t bite.

Those were all great ideas for starting with the basics. Let’s move onto more graduated forms of helping to prevent and deal with the aggressive behavior.

#1 – Take Care of Yourself and Those Around You

The very first step to training an aggressive dog is making sure that everyone is safe. There are several components to this step. The very first step is to identify your pet’s triggers and thresholds without putting anyone in danger. You may already know what your dog’s triggers and thresholds are (for example, a dog that growls around his food bowl is generally easy to identify), but you might not. Be as clear as you can about what causes his aggression. Identify triggers and thresholds by taking extremely careful note of what sets your dog off and what happened right before. Keeping a journal will help you notice more subtle patterns.

All of these are warning signs, and it’s time you paid attention to your dog’s “tells.”

Once you have an idea of what triggers your dog’s aggression, it’s time to put in preventative measures.

Preventative measures may include building a fence to prevent your dog going into the street, placing baby gates to separate your dog from the kitchen, muzzling your dog while out and about, not grabbing your dog’s collar, or skipping the dog park. We have a baby gate in our house to prevent Cinnamon from going to the front door. Anyone coming in the front door sets the aggressive behavior of jumping, growling, barking and, if allowed, to bite our guest. This is the gate we use. My gate has to be tall enough so Cinnamon cannot nip people as they walk by. ‘>

Physical Exercise

Some big dogs simply don’t get enough exercise. While your Great Dane might enjoy lounging around all day, most working breeds like German Shepherds need quite a bit of exercise each day. It’s hard to muster the energy to exercise your dog after a long day of work, and it’s often challenging to exercise aggressive dogs in public. If your dog is safe to walk outside on a regular basis, jogging or activity walks are my go-to exercise methods for busy people.

Cinnamon and I walk every day. I try to go for my 7,000 steps. That seems to be what is good for both of us. It is a huge challenge though as Cinnamon is set off by bike riders and other dogs. I try to control my environment while we are exercising…this means, I try to go at a time of day when there won’t be many dogs out for their daily walk. If we do see other dogs, we simply turn around and go the other way or we cross the street.

We never go to a dog park. It’s just not a good situation for Cinnamon. She gets extremely overwhelmed. When I had my lab and retriever, who were not aggressive at all, it was a must. We went every day to a dog park. As a general rule, healthy dogs should get at least an hour of activity each day between mental and physical exercise. The exercise doesn’t have to be physically intense, especially for older or less energetic dogs.

Pay a visit to a behavior-savvy vet and talk to her about your dog’s behavior concerns.

  • She might be able to help you pinpoint physical issues that are related to your dog’s aggression. There are a few red flags to look for to know aggression may be related to something medical:
  • Your dog’s aggression had a sudden onset, especially if it’s not linked to a specific experience (such as being attacked at the dog park).
  • Your canine’s aggression is triggered by petting, touching, or approaching a specific area of the dog’s body.
  • The aggression appeared in old age and is accompanied by weight gain
  • Dogs may become aggressive for any number of reasons if they are in pain.
  • Even if your dog’s aggression isn’t caused by a medical issue, medication may still help. Some dog aggression medications can help reduce your dog’s baseline stress level enough that behavior modification can take hold. It’s almost impossible for dogs to learn if they’re 100% stressed out 100% of the time, and medication can help there. There is a CBD formula for dogs that help calm them. It can come in chews and sprays. The one I use is this one. It really helps Cinnamon. ‘>
  • My dog, Goldie Lucks, was actually getting sick with cancer. We didn’t know this because she didn’t show the human symptoms of cancer. She died a year later. So, a sick dog also may show signs of aggression.

#2 – Counterconditioning and Desensitization

Now we’re ready to pull out the big guns. You’ve got all of your safety measures in place, and your dog is fully taken care of. If you’ve done steps 1 and 2 correctly, you already should have seen a dramatic reduction in your dog’s aggression. Some people choose to stop here. Depending on what your dog’s aggression issues are, that’s just fine. Everyone is safe and your dog is happy. But if you really want to calm an aggressive dog, you’ve got to get into counterconditioning and desensitization.

This is the concept of slooooowly introducing your dog to his triggers in small doses, while teaching him that those triggers always make awesome things happen. The best way to show you how this works is to have you watch this YouTube video from Brain Training 4 dogs. Watch it here.

Don’t expect to be able to cure your dog’s aggression in a day, a week, or even a month. Be patient and consistent. Counterconditioning and desensitization is simple, but it’s not easy.

Nobody’s perfect, and mistakes are to be expected. If you’ve done a good job at step one (take care of yourself and those around you), mistakes shouldn’t involve blood. Always do the best you can to avoid mistakes, but be prepared for something to happen.

  • This approach does a few things:

    Crates and closed doors prevent a repeat mistake. You can’t make the same mistake again if your dog is locked in his crate with a chew.

  • Crates and closed doors allow you to step away and keeps you from getting upset at your dog. Getting upset is only going to upset or scare your dog, which won’t help in the future.
  • Chewing gives your dog something else to do. Chewing calms your dog down. Odds are, your dog needs to take 10 to calm down, just like you do.

    Don’t worry about accidentally rewarding your dog by feeding him a chew toy after a mistake.

    Above All, Be Safe When Dealing with Aggressive Dog Behavior

    Aggressive dogs are inherently dangerous. They are threatening to cause damage or have already followed through on that threat. If you do nothing else when calming an aggressive dog, keep everyone safe. This means understanding your dog’s triggers and thresholds, reading his body language, and using appropriate prevention strategies such as muzzles.

    Use non-confrontational training methods to teach your dog that his triggers are actually treat machines, then teach him a replacement behavior. Work with a professional if at all possible. Brain Training 4 dogs gives many sound training techniques and you can watch it on a YouTube video in your home.

When you are training your dog, be sure to reward him or her for good behavior. You can do this with a toy, a treat, or lavish praise. This lets the dog know he has pleased the alpha dog and may be moved from the back of the pack soon.

Have patience and introduce your dog to new ideas and settings a little at a time. If your dog is nervous around people, only expose him or her to people for a short period to begin with, petting him and reassuring him all the while. Your dog feels safer with an alpha dog indicating that all is well.

Are you training an aggressive dog? What advice has helped you? We’d love to hear your personal experiences.

Timid or anxiety behavior, are they the same?

        How to help your dog

How do you know if your pup is just timid or has anxiety?

Timid behavior

Where did you get your pup from? Was it a rescue? Was it a kennel? Was it a puppy mill? Or was it a breeder? No matter where you got him from, If he wasn’t socialized well before he was 4 months old, there’s a good chance he’ll be shy and timid. He may tuck his tail between his legs, avoid eye contact, hide in a corner or behind the sofa or even pee on the carpet. These are all signs that your dog is scared, nervous and submissive. If he was ignored or abused as a pup, it could lead him to have a fear of humans. He may not be shy in all situations — he may enjoy attention from you, but hide from other family members or the playful dog next door.

Anxiety behavior

Dogs that experience anxiety may display their stress in very different ways. Some symptoms like panting or shaking, are subtle and can be easily missed or dismissed because they are normal in other circumstances. Other more noticeable symptoms include aggression and excessive barking. Pet owners may mistake such symptoms as their pet simply acting out due to boredom or other behavioral causes. But if these symptoms occur in common situations, like during a thunderstorm or when pet owners leave the house, it can indicate that the dog is responding to anxiousness and stressful feelings. If your dog acts like this around certain people this can also be anxiety. When my son had a studio in our basement, his band members would come in through the garage door and walk through my dog’s “space”. She would bark and the ridge on her back would go up. She was very anxious about all of these teenage boys invading her space.

Subtle symptoms of anxiety

Some of the less obvious symptoms of anxiety manifest as a slight change in behavior. These symptoms can go unnoticed by pet owners as they are not disruptive. We may just think that these symptoms are our pets personalities. It may be something deeper. These symptoms include:

  • Hiding or solitude:

Some dogs want to be alone when they are experiencing anxiety. They may hide out of fear, or move away from people and other pets. Sydney will go into her cage. While her cage is her safe zone, there are days when she won’t come out. We do not lock her cage, so she can go in and out of it freely, but I’m still concerned she spends so much time in her cage.

  • Seeking comfort:

Other anxious dogs will have the opposite reaction, and seek more attention or affection. They may jump in their pet parent’s lap or require more attention. When Sydney is anxious because my Cinnamon is visiting (Sydney is my daughter’s dog), Sydney will bolt up into my lap. It’s like a power move. She almost knocked me over one time! She lies on my chest in fear and will barely move her head back and forth to look around.

  • Shaking and panting:

Dogs that shake or pant, or act generally nervous may be experiencing anxiety. While panting after exercise or in the heat is normal, panting during a loud fireworks display is likely not.

  • Excessive licking or chewing:

Anxious dogs may compulsively lick or chew at their fur. Booper, another dog of my daughter’s, will lick a spot on his body clean of fur. It is by his hip. She put s a neck collar around him and that helps. It is called an E-komg (for Dogs and Cats). It really works! It’s like having a pillow collar around our necks when we travel.

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Overt Symptoms of Anxiety

The more noticeable symptoms of anxiety are hard to miss. Depending on the cause of the anxiety, these behaviors may only appear when dogs are triggered by their phobia.
Excessive barking and howling:
One of the most obvious signs of anxiety is excessive noise. If a pet starts to bark because of a loud noise or interruption and cannot be easily calmed, even after the disruption stops, they may be feeling anxiety.

  • Aggression:

Anxious dogs may become suddenly aggressive, even to their pet parent. Anxious dogs may suddenly snap, growl, or show signs of aggression. They seem jumpy and agitated.

  • Try to escape:

Dogs that feel trapped or enclosed may start digging or running. Enclosing dogs in crates may worsen their anxiety in these situations.

  • Excessive energy:

Anxious dogs sometimes display a surge of energy and appear hyperactive. We had my nephew’s dog stay with us for 3 months. His name was Strider. Strider never sat down. He would pace and jump onto the couch and then off of the couch. My daughter has another rescue dog named Sonny. Sonny can walk down the stairs but not up the stairs. So, if he is down the stairs and we are up stairs, he will pace and pace and pace. Sydney will actually walk in circles.

  • Excretion:

House-trained dogs may suddenly defecate indoors when they are under duress. You see this happening with pups when they get over excited too. When we would leave my lab at home, he would jump knock the gate over, run into my son’s room and pee on his dresser. Same spot, every time. He was 110 pounds. That was a lot of urine.

Destruction:

A common symptom of anxiety is destruction of furniture or other objects that they normally do not chew or shred. It’s common to come home and the dog has gotten into the garbage. This is not what we are talking about. We are talking about ripping pillow apart, gnawing on furniture or even chewing on the gate.

  • Panic attacks:

Dogs that experience any number of these symptoms may start to have panic attacks. Panic attacks can last from minutes to hours, and can involve any number of the above symptoms.

Symptoms of anxiety, like destruction of objects and high energy, can result in self-injury. The mental and physical stress that dogs endure while suffering from anxiety is also taxing, and should not go untreated.

Managing an anxious dog

Movement

Even for people the first answer to dealing with stress, anxiety or depression is to add exercise to your daily routine. In recent years lack of movement for people have contributed to not only weight gain but to the way we handle our stress.

The same is true for our dogs. Movement is the key ingredient to a happy healthy dog and the lack of it contributes to far greater behavior challenges than most dog owners are aware.

Exercise for a fearful or anxious dog is on the very top of the list when it comes to changing this behavior to confidence and the ability to deal with daily routines in a much more relaxed manner. Finding ways to get an anxious dog exercise can be challenging when the fear stems from other people, dogs or unexpected external noises.

Treadmill Dog Training

The treadmill for a fearful or anxious dog is a solution well worth looking into for a variety of reasons. First creating a safe environment for a dog suffering from fear starts everyone off on the right paw. Secondly it is a way to incorporate exercise as a stress reliever while creating a mind that can open to learning by taking the overanxious edge off through movement . Once a fearful dog gets the chance to burn off the nervous energy that stores itself only to come out as bad behavior the road to leaving the fear behind can begin.

Other benefits to training a fearful dog on a treadmill are really about gaining your own confidence as well. Many people suffer from feeling the judgment of others while trying to get a dog with issues “over it” out on a public trail or park. Dogs who are fearful, shy or overly anxious can look to others as though they have been “abused” or you aren’t being nice to the dog. In most cases this is far from the truth and stops the process of getting a dog out and moving as much as possible.

Exercise and movement take the edge off of anxiety for both people and dogs. Treadmill training for dogs not only gives a dog who needs to move through fear the chance to get enough exercise but it has in fact, gotten most dogs to a place where confidence and balance returns and a dog who wasn’t socially able to function well becomes happy and integrated into regular life activities.

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Trouble walking your dog?

On almost every walk in my neighborhood I see at least one dog that has trouble leash walking. What I mean by this is the dog barks and lunges at every person and other dog they see. What’s worse is, it’s my dog! Just because I want my dog to walk well on the leash, isn’t going to make it happen. So many times I find myself rearranging my schedule to avoid ” the best time of the day” walks or avoiding a walk altogether because I’m not up to the challenge of managing my dogs behavior. It becomes a vicious cycle-with a lack of both exercise and stimulation leading to my dog who is harder to handle when she is taken on walks. So, the walks tend to go towards walking into more secluded areas and the problem with socialization increases.

Why do some dogs have this problem and others don’t?

I can’t speak for every dog but some probably feel trapped when they’re on a leash and are approached with another dog. They don’t feel free to run away if they need to. Dogs who explode at other dogs for this reason are behaving as though their best defense is a good offense. “I’ll get you before you get me”. I know this is part of Cinnamin’s problem. If we have plenty of space to move over, she does much better.

Another reason why a dog maybe nervous when another dog approaches them is because they may have been traumatized by another dog and are now afraid of approaching dogs. We may never know this with a rescue pup.

Perhaps your dog never had a chance to be properly socialized around unfamiliar dogs, and is only comfortable with familiar dogs. Some dogs may be naturally shy around any unfamiliar dog, even though their owners have provided them opportunities to socialize.

Genetics play an important role in all aspects of canine behavior, and shyness is highly heritable, causing even some well-socialized dogs to be nervous around unfamiliar dogs.

Not all reactive dogs are afraid of other dogs. Some dogs get so excited when they see another dog that they work themselves into a frenzy. A high level of emotional arousal, combined with frustration of being on a leash and not being able to interact, is a common factor that motivates some dogs to bark and lunge. A dog may start out by charging forward to try to play with another dog, but when they leash stops them, over and over, he/she may learn to associate feeling frustrated with the approach of another dog. This is sort of like “road rage” for humans. We get into our car, thinking “today will be the day for a smooth ride to work”. Then we hit the traffic or weather or construction AGAIN and we just lose it. Frustration sets in. Dogs may begin by trying to run over to play with a buddy, but after months and years of being restricted, their enery and frustration can spiral into a mess of emotions….like humans with their “road rage”.

Another explanation for dogs who bark and lunge at others is a learned association between seeing another dog and the aversive feeling associated of getting choked by the collar. It’s easy to imagine a dog thinking, in some canine kind of way, “I always get hurt when I see another dog on leash, so go away!” So let’s look at this successful idea that hopefully will help make walks so much calmer and nicer for both you and your dog.

“Watch” command for a safer, calmer, no road-rage walk

The watch command gives your dog something other to do than bark and lunge. We have to give our dogs another option to the aggressive behavior. All they know isn’t working well for them or us. The watch command has them look to us to see what they want us to do. It has them refocus, on us, their master aka, the alpha of us two. Now our pup is no longer being stimulated by another dog walking by revving up out of control. She/he is now focused on our face, calming down and happily anticipating a wonderful treat (be it food or praise). This maybe very hard to imagine, but what do you have to lose by training your dog and yourself a new behavior strategy to make a seriously stressful walk a more calming one?

Start teacher Watch in a quiet place where they are no distractions. Say “Watch” and wave a moist, smelly piece of food an inch away from your dog’s nose. Bring the hand with the food up to your face to lure your dog’s eyes up to yours. You can encourage this behavior by smooching or clicking your tongue or moving away a step or two. Once your hand is up by your face, encourage eye contact between you and your dog by smiling, cocking your head, wiggling your finger beside your eye and praising with “Good dog, Good dog.” Use a voice that is both calm and happy.

After a second or two, say “okay” to release your dog, then give your dog the treat. Be sure you don’t move the treat away from your face before you have told your dog, “okay”. If you do, your dog will think the movement is the release, and that could cause trouble later. Don’t worry if the dog is watching the treat and not your eyes, eventually we’ll get to that. Have your hand movement consistent. Always go from their nose to your eyes.

After you say “okay”, either hand your dog her treat, or toss it on the ground. Some dogs have a hard time staying still and focusing on your face when they’ve seen another dog, and even the best treat in the world is barely enough for them. These dogs do best if the reinforcement for turning their head toward yours is a quick run in the other direction.

Once you and your dog have mastered Watch in a quiet place with little distractions, start asking for Watch with mild distractions. As soon as Watch is going well at moderate levels of distraction, start asking for it when your dogs sees anther dog. Of course, be in control of the situation. You want it to be a success so only ask for a Watch if another dog is far enough away that your dog will see him, but not go crazy. Try to anticipate the moment your dog is about to turn her head toward the other dog, and say “watch” the microsecond she’s actually looking toward the dog. Your goal at this stage of training is to set up situations where your dog sees another dog at a distance far enough away that she can still concentrate, to say Watch immediately each time she looks at the other dog, and make her very glad she did. If she looks back at the other dog, that just gives you another time to practice!

Right think out the training progression. You need to train your dog from no stimulation to everyday walk situations slowly. You don’t want to blow the training you’ve started! Be very patient. I suggest the following…

-in the house, when no one else is around and you both can focus on each other.

-now go into a room with a window and have the window open. My dog loves to watch out the window, so this could be a distraction.

-In the back or front yard at a quiet time, with no one in sight.

-In the back or front yard when it’s a bit busier with a bird or squirrel.

-In the house when one other person is present but doing their own thing.

-In the house when several other people are present

-In the front yard when someone else is outside

-In the front yard when someone else and their pooch is outside

-On the sidewalk, as your dog walks toward a dog she is friendly with, who is 25 yards away.

-on the sidewalk, as your dog sees a dog who she’s charged at numerous times in the past, who is a block away.

-In the backyard as a squirrel rushes past.

-on the sidewalk, when your dog looks at an unfamiliar dog who is 30 feet away walking toward you both.

-On the sidewalk, when an unfamiliar dog walks by.

Summary

This really does work. Your dog is worth it! Keep at it! It seems tedious but it will all be worth it in the end!

Review of the top carpet cleaners for pets

A carpet cleaner should come standard with a pet!  Whether it be mud tracked in, drool, body odors or urination, a pet owner will have to clean their carpets!  Not all carpet cleaners are created equal and it’s important to use one that extracts all of the water and bodily fluids out of the carpet.  There are two types of carpet cleaners when it comes to pets.  One is the carpet cleaner that is more of a steamer and cleans the whole carpet, the other is a spot cleaner. The spot cleaner works really well with the urination accidents.  Throughout the rest of this post, I will review the cleaners that I own or know of someone who owns one.

My top pick is a bissell.

The BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet 36Z9 is among the most preferred and best carpet cleaners for pet stains.It is light weight, weighing 32 pounds. The cleaner’s innovative clean shot trigger directly formulates the stains targeted for removal.  The pet hair collector basket makes things easy by trapping and disposing the debris and pet hair within the basket.  This is extremely convenient.  The basket detaches and be taken to the garbage can, cleaned out and rinsed clean.  On the other hand, the stain trapper collects pet messes in a container and the dual powered brushes with the help of 12 cleaning rows pulls deep dirt from the carpet. Water temperature is maintained constantly while cleaning because of the heat wave technology.  This machine is easy to fill with water and cleaning solution in one compartment.  The dirty water is then suctioned into another separate compartment.  This machine is easy to take apart and clean.  The cleaning goes from edge to edge of the machine, making it easy to get up close to the baseboard.  One of the most important things to look at is the suction.  The suction has to be powerful in order to get the water, cleaning solution and urine/mess out of the carpet.

buy here:   ‘>

Second pick

This is a Hoover.  Hoover’s have been around for years and years.  This steam cleaner has a powerful name brand behind it.  If you’re looking for a carpet cleaner that does more than eliminate pet stains and odors, Hoover Power Scrub Elite is the best choice.

A cleaner made for high traffic areas, the Hoover Power Scrub Elite is always ready to take care of pet hair and dander, dirt, grimes and stains. This machine can be used in three ways: deep cleaning, quick cleaning, and rinsing. To effectively eliminate embedded dirt and stains, you simply switch it to the ‘deep clean’ mode. If you’re in a rush, go for the ‘quick clean’ mode with heat force that speeds up the drying time to 45 minutes, letting you set foot on the carpet in no time. If you like to wash the carpets with soap and water, set it to ‘rinse mode’, or if you want to remove soap residue just rinse with water.

Furthermore, the tank of this cleaner is 25% larger so you won’t have to refill it more often. It also comes with a concentrated cleaning formula that sanitizes and deodorizes pet waste and urine while being phosphate-free and septic safe.

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Next is the Rug doctor

Rug doctor is one of the top names in carpet steam cleaning!  This one is a hand held one that targets those specific messes.  The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is designed to battle dirt and grime, this cleaning machine is a powerful and portable cleaner at your fingertips for all of those spots your full-size carpet cleaner won’t reach. Built with 2 times the suction capabilities and a powerful motorized brush that moves 1,200 times per minute, this spot cleaner deep cleans each carpet fiber and breaks down stains confidently—leaving no dirt or debris behind.  It is built with a 10 amp motor for twice the suction power than most other portable spot cleaners.  This is huge!!! Suction is the number one key component in carpet cleaning!  The powerful oscillating motorized brush can be used on stairs, carpet, area rugs, upholstery and car interior.  The Removable, clear water tanks let you see when it’s time to refresh the cleaning solution and are easy to wash.  It’s nice to have the upright cleaning machines when cleaning the whole carpet, but I definitely get out my hand held cleaners for those isolated areas!

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Finally, a Spot bot

   This is a Bissell Spot Bot.  This is a must have!!!! You set it in place, over the stain, turn it on and you can walk away.  It has a beeping noise when it’s done.  It’s sooooo nice because it does the work for you!

This machine is equipped with two preset cleaning cycles, this easy-to-use portable carpet cleaner automatically sprays, brushes, and suctions to remove both surface pet stains and tough, set-in stains. Its unique cleaning foot with DeepReach Technology delivers water and cleaning formula deep into carpet fibers and gently scrubs for permanent pet-stain removal. For ultimate versatility, BISSELL SpotBot Pet features an easy-to-use, on-board hose and tool to clean pet messes on upholstery, stairs, auto interiors, and other hard-to-reach areas. To be honest, I never used the on-board hose.  But the rest of the machine works like magic!!!  Bissell is donating $10 to the BISSELL Pet Foundation™ with purchase.  This machine also comes with a 2 year warranty.

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Along with buying a vacuum that picks up pet hair, a carpet steamer/cleaner is a must!

With our furry family members, especially rescue, there are going to be messes and accidents.  I don’t want anyone to walk into my house and be able to SMELL that I have dogs.  The trick with the wet messes is to get to them before they dry.  Shampooing and suctioning back up pet urine when it’s wet is so much more effective than getting to it after it’s dried.  When looking for a machine, I first look for great suction and cleaning ability and then I look to see if the machine is easy to clean itself.  I don’t want something with too  many parts or too many screws to take a part.  If that’s the case, I just won’t use it.  I steam clean my whole carpet 3 times a year and now that Cinnie is house broken completely, I only have to use my hand-helds when my daughter’s dogs visit!  Sometimes Cinnie has a poop accident in the house if there has been several days of rain or thunderstorms.  Cinnie HATES water/rain/thunderstorms.  So, I ended up using my hand held for more poop accidents than urine accidents.  I simply clean up as much of the poop itself with a tissue and throw it in the toilet.  Then I set to work cleaning with one of my hand helds.

Happy cleaning!!!!